WASHINGTON, DC – Thirty Nine United States Senators demonstrated their “conscience and sense of duty” yesterday by standing up to the gun lobby in a dramatic victory for gun violence prevention advocates, mayors, police chiefs, law enforcement officials, and certainly the American people.
Democrats and a handful of Republicans defeated Sen. Thune’s (R-SD) Amendment 1618 to the Defense Appropriation Bill (S. 1390) thereby blocking the gun lobby’s attempt to pass a dangerous national carrying concealed weapons law.
(Scroll below for roll call on Sen. Thune’s Amendment 1618).
If enacted, Sen. Thune’s hidden handgun proposal would have gutted and trampled on states’ rights and forced communities across the nation to permit untrained and dangerous individuals from other states to carry hidden and loaded handguns in public. The amendment, pushed by the gun lobby and industry, would also have put law enforcement officials at greater risk and increased illegal gun trafficking by putting more lethal weapons on the streets and into our communities. Sen. Thune’s amendment was one of the worst and most irresponsible pieces of legislation debated on the floor of the Senate in recent years.
Gun violence prevention advocates thanked leaders for their tenacity in speaking on the floor, especially Senators Richard Durbin (IL) the floor manager, as well as Charles Schumer (NY), Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (CA), Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg (NJ) who spoke out forcefully against the gun lobby’s power grab and extremist agenda.
“We are grateful to the Senators who stared down the gun lobby and voted to keep our communities and police officers safer from individuals carrying hidden and loaded guns in public, and for protecting the American people from the gun lobby’s attempt to hijack the U.S. Senate with yet another dangerous gun amendment,” said Sally Slovenski, Executive Director of Freedom States Alliance.
Pro-NRA Senators repeatedly stated that CCW permit holders were “law abiding,” completely ignoring a new study by the Violence Policy Center that found that over a two-year period from May 2007 through April 2009, concealed handgun permit holders murdered 7 police officers and wounded 3 others, including 44 homicides of private citizens.
“At some point our U.S. Senators must rise above the special-interests of the radical gun lobby and do the right thing and vote the right way to protect our communities from gun violence. Although it is not a requirement of the Constitution that Senators carry themselves with a degree of dignity and conscience in protecting our fellow Americans from gun violence, it is nonetheless expected,” said Scott Vogel, Communications Director of Freedom States Alliance, in reference to the 58 Senators who supported the Thune Amendment.
Source: Freedom States Alliance
Senate Roll Call On Sen. Thune Amendment 1618 Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs —58 (in support of gun lobby’s national, hidden handgun law):
Not Voting - 3